By Debbie Myers
Radio is the most fascinating communications medium. It continues to thrive despite many attempts to derail it. At one time, television was thought to replace this medium of the mind, but radio reinvented itself with DJ personalities and drive-time news and weather. Then satellite and Internet came along and radio has adapted once again – growing with more program offerings such as Doctor Radio on Sirius XM and Blog Talk Radio.
Why is radio so enduring? Well, it’s versatile, easy to access and has a low cost to produce. In communities, local radio brings people together with live remotes and traffic reports. Above all, radio allows people to converse, no matter who they are or what their educational level. And with radio, you can reach people who want to hear from you.
This week I became even more sold on the power of radio when I had the opportunity to host a program for our client, the American Physical Therapy Association. APTA tapped into Blog Talk Radio to create Move Forward Radio, a terrific program to promote physical therapy. More importantly, it’s a unique and fun way to have experts talk directly with people who need their advice.
Blog Talk Radio exploits what’s best about radio – its ease of use. With a phone and the Internet, anyone can create their own show. Of course, people don’t want to listen to just anyone, and that’s where a little expertise comes in. This week, APTA selected a great topic that appealed to a wide variety of people – low back pain. They supported the topic with a survey that showed that 61 percent of Americans said they have experienced low back pain, and of those, nearly 70 percent felt it has affected their daily lives, such as their ability to exercise, to sleep, to work, or to have intimate relationships.
Combine the topic with interesting guest experts like Mary Ann Wilmarth, DPT and Chief of Physical Therapy at Harvard University Health Services; Mike Ryan, Physical Therapist and Head Athletic Trainer for the Jacksonville Jaguars; and Colette Morgan, M.D. at Emory University and volunteer with AARP Georgia, and our Move Forward Radio segment was able to hold people’s attention. (Listen for yourself.) But, promoting the program through social medial media channels before and during the program drove people to tune-in. While a sizable number of people listened to the show live, the number of people who listened to the recorded program throughout the evening grew by nearly 25 percent. Unlike conventional radio, Blog Talk Radio lives online, allowing a multitude of people to tune in at their convenience.
Visuals are powerful, but nothing will replace the connectivity of sound. In one form or another, radio will live forever.